Extent of adoption of marketing research in micro, small and medium sized enterprises (msme): a case study of the Nairobi Central Business District
Marketing research is any organized effort to gather information about markets or customers. It is a systematic gathering and interpretation of information about markets using analytical and statistical methods and techniques to gain market insight and support decision making. The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business's target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face. Research which explores the advantages of marketing research will help to raise awareness among those who are unacquainted with its potential and benefits within their business start up planning. The objective of the study was to determine the extent to which Micro, Small and Medium sized enterprises in Nairobi County have adopted marketing research. In this study I used descriptive statistics to interpret the data. The target population for this study was all businesses in the Nairobi County, Central Business District. Primary data will be collected by use of questionnaires which was dropped and picked later after they are filled. Questionnaires was scripted and coded and keyed in at SPSS. The data was analyzed using SPSS. The study was to investigate the extent of adoption of marketing research to MSME’s. I sampled Micro, Small and Medium sized businesses within the Nairobi Central Business District and sampled 384 enterprises. I used multistage stratified sampling was used where businesses were divided into three strata’s namely Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. Data was collected using drop and pick later way of administering the questionnaires. The study found out that most MSME conduct little or no marketing research practices. This is due to the fact that marketing research is seen as secondary activity and as a luxury, little do the business owners know that marketing research is the backbone of business success and long term going concern. MSME businesses tends to ignore research and they would argue that it is expensive, it is for large corporate only, secondary data suffices, information can be gathered from the internet and conclusions and decision making made, friends and family insight would be enough for our strategies. A business owner may also have high motivation of conducting marketing research for it to fade along the way and he ends up conducting none or little of it. It was therefore advisable for MSME to always conduct marketing research to ensure they are informed on the marketing and be competitive in their activities. Some of the practices that they can adopt that are less involving and less costly would include use of free data collection and automated analytics like Google Docs Form, use of open source analysis software like R statistical software, use of Omnibus offered by Marketing Research Companies, use of open source computer aided personal interviews (CAPI) data collection tools like Open Data Kit, (ODK). Then marketing research company need to also accommodate this category of MSME in their strategy as potential sector since if they aid them to grow they will be the future beneficiaries as MSME are the potential large enterprises in future.